What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Naturopathy is a medical system that takes a holistic approach to health and healing. The practice utilizes many modalities such as nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, massage, and herbal remedies in order to optimize the body’s ability to heal.

Homeopathy is entirely different. It is based on something called the “Law of Similars”. Using a guidebook called Materia Medica, a homeopathic practitioner does an extensive interview and matches the symptoms of a patient with the symptoms that may occur after the consumption of a particular substance. He or she will then make a remedy that has that substance diluted down to such a degree that there may be only a “memory” of the substance left. This remedy can then facilitate healing.

The difference between the two is that naturopathy is a health system that utilizes many different treatments and modalities (which may even include homeopathy) and homeopathy is solely focused upon the use of remedies.

Homeopathy is often used in naturopathy. Homeopathic remedies are developed from natural substances. Small doses are given to enhance the body's natural ability to heal. Homeopathy works on the theory that "like cures like." This means that something that gives a healthy people symptoms will cure the same symptoms for someone who is ill. Homeopathy is a common treatment in many countries and is the second most popular form of medicine. In North America, it is still considered controversial and unproven. Naturopathy is a medical system that upholds a holistic and natural approach to the body's instrinsic ability to heal and maintain health and well being.  In naturopathy, nature is believed to have healing power.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.